Indulge your love of chocolate:
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Cadbury World Experience
Enjoy the sights, smells, tastes and history of one of the world’s best-known chocolate brands, Cadbury, as you embark on a journey from how the humble bean was discovered in the Aztec jungle through to chocolate manufacturing and tasting and into the world’s largest Cadbury Shop. The attraction, in Bourneville – four miles south of Birmingham city centre – lifts the lid on a world of choccy treats and is perfect for a family fun day out. Stroll to the attraction in 15 minutes from the nearest station – Bourneville station –which you can get to by train from London, via Birmingham, in under two hours.
York’s Chocolate Story
Ever wondered where the humble Kit Kat – found in shops around the world – came from? Head to the city of York in the north of England, where you can see how the chocolates made their way onto our shop shelves. Visitors can find out more about the roots of the chocolate’s founding families and the individual chocolate shops that pepper the city. York’s Chocolate Story is a dedicated museum that reveals the city’s chocolate heritage, and its café features an all-day chocolate breakfast, a selection of ‘choctails’ and an ‘Ultimate Chocolate Fondue’.
York’s Chocolate Story
Choccywoccydoodah’s Bar du Chocolat
Nestled around the corner from the Choccywoccydoodah’s shop in the bohemian seaside resort of Brighton – 45 minutes by train from London – is a chocaholic’s dream café. Also known the Choccywoccyboudoir, the Bar du Chocolat invites you to feast in a two-hour chocolate indulgence that incorporates Belgian hot chocolate, chocolate cakes and chocolate dipping pots. Extremely decadent.
Member of the Scottish Organic Producers Association, Coco Chocolate, hosts Chocolate Connoisseur Evenings at its two elegant stores in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh; in Bruntsfield, a 20-minute walk from the main shopping area of Princes Street and in the city centre’s Broughton Street. These indulgent tasting evenings allow visitors to learn the process of chocolate making, find out what chocolate tempering is and learn how to know real chocolate via tasting sessions, which is not so different to wine tasting.
Award-winning chocolate shops:
Paul. A. Young, London
Much lauded in the culinary world for his chocolate creations Paul. A. Young holds a multitude of awards from the Academy of Chocolate and recently scooped 'Best Sea Salted Caramel in the World' at the International Chocolate Awards. With three stores in London – in Soho, Islington and the City of London – he's the only chocolatier in the capital who makes chocolates entirely by hand and uses only natural ingredients. His vision for chocolate is inspirational – last October he created an exclusive line of brownies for London food store Fortnum & Masons including a warming Sichuan flower pepper, stem ginger and chilli version.
Paul A Young
Gorvett and Stone, Oxfordshire
Based in the pretty market town of Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire – an easy hour by car or train from London – artisan chocolatiers and past winners at the prestigious Great Taste Awards Gorvett and Stone use only the finest Valrhona chocolate in their unique creations and source the fresh cream for their truffles and ganaches from a local dairy. As well as supplying high-end stores such as Fortnum & Mason’s the chocolatiers demonstrate their sense of fun with creative products such as ‘exploding chocolate frogs’.
Gorvett and Stone
William Curley, London
The Scottish-born patissier chocolatier has been awarded ‘Britain’s Best Chocolatier’ by the Academy of Chocolate four times and his book Couture Chocolate received the Cookery Book of the Year Award 2012 – and it’s easy to see why. His stores in London’s elegant Belgravia neighbourhood and upmarket town of Richmond, Surrey, as well as a concession in Harrods, sell gourmet treats such as champagne truffles and Assam tea caramel bars as well as a nostalgic range including coconut bars and peanut nougat bars.
Aberdeen Chocolate Fair, February
Visitors to Aberdeen, Scotland – accessible by air or a train journey from Edinburgh – can stock up on Valentine’s gifts with a trip to the Aberdeen Chocolate Festival. As well as stalls showcasing artisan chocolate from the area’s finest chocolatiers, there are demonstrations on how to pair whisky with chocolate and wine and chocolate tastings.
Brighton Chocolate Festival, March
A whole array of first-class chocolatiers head to the seaside town of Brighton for a dedicated two-day festival. Exhibitors include British award-winning chocolatiers such as Montezuma’s, organic producers Cocoa Loco and Jaz and Juls’ ‘proper organic hot chocolate’.
Oxford Chocolate Festival, March
The Chocolate Festival then travels to Oxford’s historic Broad Street and, like the Brighton, London and Bristol Chocolate Festivals, will welcome master chocolatiers Paul. A. Young, William Curley, Damian Allsop, Bill McCarrick and Barry Johnson. A chocolate lovers’ dream all in the shadow of the university city’s dreaming spires.
London Chocolate Festival, March
Head down to London’s riverside Southbank Centre – a stone’s throw from the London Eye – just before Easter and immerse yourself in all things chocolate as the festival ends in London. Highlights include a Valrhona afternoon tea with creations by their head pastry chef, the chance to create your own chocolate bar with ChocoMe and join a free tutored chocolate tasting with Martin Christy of Seventy%.
Chocolate Week, October
For an entire week Britain’s best chocolatiers and chocolate makers hold more than 350 events, tastings and launches around the country, culminating in a chocolate show – Chocolate Unwrapped, between 19-20 October – which, this year, is expecting over 10,000 visitors from the UK and overseas. Featuring exhibitors from around the UK and international, last year’s highlights included talks and demonstrations, sculptures, a chocolate café and a chocolate cake off.
Bristol Chocolate Festival, March
Sample the delights of Britain’s best chocolatiers, meet artisan chocolate producers and stock up on exquisite gifts for friends and family.
Quirky chocolate experiences – when one bar of chocolate is not enough:
Chocolate Boutique Hotel, Bournemouth
You can eat, sleep and literally breathe chocolate with a stay at this chocolate-themed hotel in the south England coastal resort of Bournemouth, a two-hour journey by car or train from London. Located in the town’s fashionable Soho Quarter the hotel offers 13 chocolate-themed rooms ranging from the Chocolate Truffle Suite to the White Chocolate room. Enjoy chocolate tastings, chocolate shoe workshops, children’s chocolate parties and chocolate-inspired menus.
Chocolate Boutique Hotel
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours, London
The clue is in the name – tour around some of the best chocolate shops in London with a personal guide or as part of a guided walking group where you’ll taste succulent chocolate and learn fascinating facts about chocolate in the capital. Whether it’s a 2.5 hour-long tour or an all-day chocolate journey each tour stars with a hot chocolate, to prepare your tastebuds for the day ahead.
Chocolate Ecstasy Tours
M&M’s World, London
London’s Leicester Square is home to Europe’s first M&M’s World store and gives chocoholics four floors of chocolate fun. Complementing its comprehensive range of M&M's chocolates and merchandise is a giant wall of chocolate where you can create your own M&M's selection from more than 100 choices.
All information and photos © and courtesy Visit Britain.